Ice Fishing Success with Meat Natural Pork Bait

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I live in the Milwaukee area and love to ice fish for bluegill and crappie. In the winter if I am not working I am out jigging for pan fish. Many of the lakes around here tend to have a lot of fishing pressure. If there is a hot bite anywhere, it doesn’t take long for the word to get out and before you know it there’s a crowd. When this happens, it can really make fishing tough even though many fish are still present in the area.  The ice conditions so far this year with little to no snow, clear ice and clear water make it even tougher as the fish tend to be much spookier.  Drilling holes, walking around and even the light splashing sound of scooping out a hole can make fish scatter or move tighter to the bottom in a negative and non-aggressive mood. That’s not to mention seeing their buddies eating something and then being pulled through a hole, never to return.  

Two weeks ago on a Sunday, I found a spot on a popular lake that was loaded with a lot of nice bluegills.  They were very aggressive and I managed to catch a limit of 7.5-8.5 inchers in less than two hours.  I had to work all week and could not wait to return to my “secret” hot spot.  When I returned the following Saturday, it was obvious someone had stumbled across my honey hole based on the crowd surrounding my gps waypoint.  It is a public lake and I don’t own the water so I don’t blame anyone for stumbling across my spot as I have done the same myself.  To tell the truth, I usually like fishing in a crowd because you get to meet new people and see their different fishing styles. 

I proceeded to drill a few holes and put two red spikes on my jig and started fishing as I did on my previous trip but went a half hour without a bite.  I decided to pull out my Aqua-View and see if the bluegills were still around.  After about three holes, it was apparent there was still plenty of fish in the area but the biters had become sniffers.  I looked around at the crowd and saw very few fish being caught and from what I could tell most people were using spikes and plastic.  I decided it was time to change baits so I grabbed a jar of Uncle Josh Meat Ice Leeches in red and pinched off the smaller segment and hooked it on my jig.  My first drop down, I pulled up an 8 inch bluegill and then continued to catch many fish.  One of the guys around asked what I was using and I offered him a pink leech as I was running low on red and he started cracking them right away.  I got my limit in about three hours after making the switch.  It took a little bit longer than the week before, but fishing was also a lot tougher from all the pressure.  I think the natural live bait scents added to meat and the pork fat oils being released into the water turned the sniffers back into biters.  I am sure the supple action of the pork fat also had something to do with it.  So next time you go out, make sure you have the Uncle Josh Meat Leech with you.  It worked for me and I am sure it will work for you too.  

Nick Smyers

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